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Does A Landlord Have To Pay A Tenant To Move Back Into Their Own Home?

By Advice for Landlords, Video Blog

If you are a landlord in Ontario wanting to move back into your rental property, then this post is for you!

In the past, all you had to do was simply notify the tenant of your intention to move back in, and the tenancy would effectively come to an. (with proper notice of course)

Unfortunately, many (shady) landlords weren’t using this method in the most honest of ways.  Instead of moving back-in, some landlords would simply relist at a higher price. Naturally, this displaced many tenants resulting in unnecessary moves and extra costs.  The Ontario government quickly got wind of this and moved swiftly to shut the loophole down.

As of September 1st, 2017, the rules surrounding how and who can move back in have changed significantly. As per the Landlord Tenant BoardA landlord may apply to terminate a tenancy on the basis the rental unit is needed for use by the landlord, the landlord’s family member, or a person who provides or will provide care services to the landlord or landlord’s family. Notice how they didn’t say cousins or even siblings? It must only be an immediate family member, and the move must be in “good faith”.

You also to compensate the tenant for displacing them. Yes, you read that right – landlords now have to: compensate the tenant in an amount equal to one month’s rent or offer another rental unit acceptable to the tenant.

Examples of Evicting a Tenant as Bad Faith

Some examples the board provides of termination in bad faith include:

  1. advertises the rental unit for rent;
  2. enters into a tenancy agreement in respect of the rental unit with someone other than the former tenant;
  3. advertises the rental unit, or the building that contains the rental unit, for sale;
  4. demolishes the rental unit or the building containing the rental unit; or
  5. takes any step to convert the rental unit, or the building containing the rental unit, to use for a purpose other than residential premises.

These provisions only apply during the period that begins on the date the landlord gave the tenant the notice and ends one year after the former tenant moves out of the unit.

Fines or Remedies

If a landlord is caught breaking the rules, the LTB may order the landlord to pay:

  1. a specified sum to the tenant for all or any portion of any increased rent that the former tenant has incurred or will incur for a one-year period after vacating the rental unit;
  2. reasonable out-of-pocket moving, storage and other like expenses that the former tenant has incurred or will incur;
  3. an order for abatement of rent;
  4. an administrative fine not exceeding the greater of $25,000 and the monetary jurisdiction of the Small Claims Court; or,
  5. any other order that the LTB considers appropriate.

Steps a Landlord Must Take to Move Back Into Their Rental Property

If you and your family truly do need to move back into a rental property – make sure you follow all the correct procedures:

  1. Give proper notice.
  2. Compensate the tenant in an amount equal to one month’s rent or offer another rental unit acceptable to the tenant.
  3. Ensure only you or an allowable family member is moving back in and that the move is being done “in good faith”

With a max fine of up to $25,000, going about it in the wrong way is no slap on the wrist! Full details can be viewed on the Landlord Tenant Board website… and of course, none of this is to be taken as legal advice – just my experience in the wild world of Toronto Real Estate.

Happy Real Estating!